Winchester’s Great Scott! Community Market To Close

By Benjamin Cox on November 10, 2023 at 10:09am

2018 File Photo of the Great Scott! Market Opening

A community market in Winchester will be closing its doors soon.

The Board of Directors of the Great Scott! Community Market has announced that market will be closing permanently following a going-out-of-business sale, beginning Friday.

Great Scott CEO John Paul Coonrod says that the store has slashed prices to clear out its stock: “Starting [today], the story will be selling most items in its inventory at 30% off. It will be selling produce and fruits at 50% off. Naturally, that would exclude the Lashmett Meat Market products, because they have always been a separate business, and they will continue on in business. I hope everybody keeps that in mind. While the going out of business sale starts today, the store will keeps its doors open for at least two weeks possibly, depending on how we sell through our existing stock.”

Scott County had become a food desert after the closure of the Winchester IGA in 2016, and the market opened in August 2018 to fill the void. Coonrod says that the market served its intended purpose successfully. He says multiple factors like a lack of foot traffic, current inflation, and the inability to compete with larger grocery chains like the recently opened Dollar General Market in Winchester were all a part of the decision to close the store: “It’s even harder to compete with the perception that those stores will have ultimately lower prices for the consumer. One always has to keep in mind that if you go to a Wal-Mart, the bread and the milk will certainly be cheaper than your smaller stores. That’s for a reason. That’s what people look at. Their prices are generally in line with smaller stores if you are buying strawberries or a head of lettuce.”

Coonrod says he’s grateful for the support from the community and the market’s loyal customers over the past 5 years: “The store was built for a small town. It just wasn’t built to compete with another grocery store in that same small town. Therein lies kind of the heart of the matter as I see it. We created the store to fill a void. There’s not that void anymore. While a lot of ourselves, and by ourselves I mean the board and the officers who worked for free in the store and we’ve always worked for free on this store – we have put in countless hours in furtherance of the store. There is a lot of ‘us’ in that store, and so we hate to see it go. At the same time, I think everybody is proud of the fact and recognizes the fact that the store did exactly what it needed to do during the time it was around, and we are proud of that.”

Plans for the empty retail location on the Winchester Square are not currently known.